Call to help children speak up and stay safe
Programme relies on teams of dedicated volunteers
CHILDREN’S charity NSPCC is looking for volunteers to help steer its Speak Out. Stay Safe programme, which has already reached more than 32,000 children across west London.
The school’s safeguarding service uses specially trained volunteers to talk to youngsters of primary school age about understanding abuse and neglect, with the help of mascot Buddy.
In a move to expand its services to reach even more young people the charity needs to recruit more people and is asking people who can attend a two-day training workshop, take part in an e-learning training module and make two school visits a month, to apply.
So far in seven west London boroughs it has reached 10,600 pupils aged four to 11 in Ealing; 5,900 in Harrow; 4,300 in Hillingdon; 3,700 in Hounslow; 2,900 in Westminster; 2,800 in Hammersmith and Fulham and 1,800 in Kensington and Chelsea.
The programme, formerly known as Childline Schools Services and launched in 2011, holds interactive assemblies for children followed by a one-hour classroom workshop for Year 5 and 6 pupils.
It is a service provided for free to schools and designed to help children understand and recognise signs of all forms of abuse; how to protect themselves and how to get help.
The programme was launched with the aim of helping children before the abuse starts after research showed a majority of callers were aged 11 and over and reported the abuse had started years before they picked up the phone for help.
Gabriella Russo, who runs the programme in Ealing, said: “The programme relies on dedicated volunteers to deliver the assemblies and workshops and we’re always on the lookout for people who can help.
“If you believe in the empowerment and protection of all children and have the confidence to speak in front of a group of primary school children, then this is your chance to equip a generation of children with the knowledge and understanding they need to stay safe from abuse and neglect.”
Earlier this year, in May, NSPCC highlighted concerns for children’s safety after Ofsted revealed a quarter of suspected illegal schools were found in London.
Applications volunteer role August 5.
To apply nspcc.org.uk
To arrange for the Speak Out. Stay Safe programme to visit your school, email Gabriella Russo, Ealing, Hounslow, Hillingdon and Harrow area coordinator, at g ab r i e l l a . r u s s o @ NSP CC. for close
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